Better Laundry, Better Planet

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Use filters, and Dropps, to keep those microplastics out of our water!

Do Your Laundry with Dropps, and other save-the-planet ideas. 

How much laundry do you do? I do too much. While I don’t wash my jeans very often and my sweaters about once a year (#3 below), we are an extremely active family and produce a tremendous amount of dirty, sweaty, stinky clothes that genuinely need some soap and water before we put them back on our bodies and/or wear them in public again. We also wash my daughter’s horse stuff — saddle pads, leg wraps, the girth. Oh and there’s the dog’s orange jacket that is often covered in goose poop. It’s ridiculous. So a few years ago, I wondered, how can we do laundry better? Here’s what I’ve learned thus far:

  1. Get a microplastics filter for your washing machine. You can get The Microfiber Filter from The Girlfriend Collective for $45, or spend $139.99 on a Filtrol. Warning: you will need a plumber or someone handy to help you install it. But you will not regret it!
  2. Wait until you have enough laundry. It is much more energy efficient to do a full load. 
  3. Air dry your clothes on a rack or line. Saves energy. Clothes last longer. A win win. This said, I do put sheets and towels in the dryer. I mean, who wants to dry off with a towel that could double for a loofah sponge?
  4. Wash all cashmere sweaters in a bag in the machine on a 15 minute cycle rather than take them to the drycleaner. Dryclean other sweaters once a year or only if critically needed.
  5. Use Dropps detergent and oxi booster. These are a game changer. No plastic bottles! No chemicals!! The pods and this company is dedicated to supporting environmentally friendly and sustainable laundry (and dishwashing) practices. They are dye-free, phthalate-free, phosphate free, and animal-cruelty-free. The pods themselves are made from a water soluble casing called Polyinyl alcohol (PVOH), which dissolves in water upon contact and microorganisms like to consume it! You can sign up for a money saving subscription and it is delivered to your door with 100% carbon neutral shipping in a recyclable cardboard box. Best of all, they clean the clothes and make them smell good. 

The Dropps Backstory

By Lily Olsen

Those detergent pods you’re using might be convenient, but did you know they’re filled with harmful chemicals that leach into the environment and encased in plastic that for the most part won’t biodegrade? Not so with the Dropps detergent pods, which are made with plant-based ingredients and compostable packaging. “Convenience with a conscience” is how Jonathan Propper, who founded Dropps along with his mother, Lenore Propper Schwartz, in 2006, describes the brand. 

While Dropps is perhaps most well known for its eco-friendly detergent pods, the first detergent pods on the market, it offers a variety of other sustainable laundry and kitchen products. These include fabric softener with mineral-based ingredients and compostable packaging and Swedish dishcloths that offer a reusable alternative to paper towels.

The Proppers were textile manufacturers when they realized they couldn’t find a detergent that’s safe for the environment and gentle on fabrics. That was when they developed their first detergent formula. Since then Dropps has adapted to growing knowledge about environmentally harmful materials. “We believe that sustainability is a journey, not an end-state,” says Propper. “We’re constantly revisiting our formulas as other sustainable methods and technologies become available.”

Customers will not find any single-use plastics in Dropps products, even in the wrapping and shipping materials. Dropps uses eco-friendly cardboard packaging that doubles as the packing and shipping container. They refer to CleanGredients and Cradle 2 Cradle — two chemical ingredient certifications — to ensure that they are not using ingredients that will harm the environment. In fact, Dropps’ formulas and manufacturing process earned the company the 2017 EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year. 

Dropps has committed to offset its carbon emissions by partnering with Clearloop to install solar panels for homes. Propper explains that, while many carbon offsetting programs are one-and-done, investing in clean energy will continue benefiting the household and community for many years to come. 

What gives Propper hope: growing competition in the field of clean home products. “While that may be a cause for concern for other CEOs, the fact that there is plenty of consumer interest to warrant an increased number of sustainable products and brands to the market, shows that consumers are prioritizing the well-being of our planet,” says Propper. Propper hopes that these consumer patterns mean that big businesses will come under enough pressure to change their ways.

Learn more and shop at Dropps. We like to recommend products we’ve tried ourselves. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

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Mollie Doyle
Mollie Doyle
Mollie Doyle is Bluedot Living’s contributing editor and Room for Change columnist. “My favorite form of travel is walking with friends. A few years ago, some friends and I walked across England. This year, hopefully, we'll be able to do the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.”

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